State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving: Over 90,000 Ukrainian families get loans worth over 1 billion UAH under housing thermal modernization program

State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving: Over 90,000 Ukrainian families get loans worth over 1 billion UAH under housing thermal modernization program
January 20, 2016.

Kyiv, January 20, 2016. More than 90,000 families have got loans worth nearly 1.3 billion UAH within the framework of the housing thermal modernization program. It is 79,000 loans, informed Roman Synets, Head of Department at State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, during the debate at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He said that the program provides compensation of 20-70% of a loan for the population, i.e. co-proprietors of condominiums and housing co-operatives. Last year, 13 memorandums with regional leaders were signed to reduce the cost of energy-saving loans for the population. According to Mr. Synets, Lviv region is leading in this area. “Today we have covered almost the whole Ukraine, except Kyiv region because it has its own regional program. At the end of 2015, compensation programs of interest or loan amount were introduced in 18 regions, 32 districts, 31 cities,” said Mr. Synets. By year-end, he said, such programs will be introduced in all regions. “Now there are 81 programs, 120 are currently developed,” he stressed. Last year the government allocated 343 million hryvnia; local authorities allocated additional 34 million. “Out of these, they have already compensated 14 million to 13 thousand households. This year budget provides more than 800 million hryvnia for the implementation of the state program,” said Mr. Synets.

Petro Panteleev, Deputy Head at the Kyiv City State Administration, reported that the capital had completed work on two thermal modernization documents: a plan for sustainable energy development and a comprehensive program of energy efficiency and development of housing in Kyiv. According to Mr. Panteleev, 4,000 heat meters have already been installed in Kyiv. “At the beginning of last year we were outsiders in Ukraine in equipping buildings with meters, but we became leaders before the year ended. This year we plan to complete installing measuring equipment in houses. Now it is about 80 percent of homes. In the living area it is a little over 90 percent,” said Mr. Panteleev. Kyiv needs 4 – 5 billion hryvnia to equip buildings with individual heating systems, he said. “This requires a mix that is hybrid financing with involving apartment owners’ funds,” he explained. According to him, three programs for housing co-financing will operate this year. They are the state target program; the program for 30% to 70% co-financing that is people and the state, respectively. Third area will affect buildings where associations of co-proprietors of condominiums are not created, they will work under a co-financing mechanism that provides affordable work, including stairwell repairs, insulation, additional engineering equipment, said Mr. Panteleev.

According to Tetyana Boiko, NGO “OPORA”, coordinator of housing, communal services and energy programs, it is the condominiums that are of considerable importance, because the main responsibility rests with the co-proprietors of condominiums. According to the research mentioned by Mrs. Boiko, “people clearly understand that they the owners of their property, and they need to save up. But they do not understand how economy can be achieved, what good it is and how to do this.” She is of opinion that the approval of certain financial programs at state and local levels is not sufficient. It is important to explain people why they have to use it. “On average, our buildings consume twice or three times as much heat energy as similar buildings in Europe. That is why it is our great challenge, our opportunities and perspectives,” said Tetyana Boiko. As a successful example of thermal modernization the expert considers Lutsk, where upon completion of relevant activities the usual Soviet buildings consume three times less heat than other buildings. “Firstly, the associations of co-proprietors of condominiums were created in these houses, and secondly both the state and local programs are operating in Lutsk,” said the expert. The coordinator of housing, communal services and energy programs of NGO “OPORA” informed that first of all, the housing sector and the relationship between all the players should be reformed. On the one hand, there should be effective owners of houses, customers of services, and on the other hand, the old Soviet housing offices should be replaced with managing companies. “It is not the local government that determines who will manage the house. It is the co-owners who on a competitive basis determine the company that will offer them the best quality of servicing house for the best price,” explained Tetyana Boiko.

Olena Sentezevska, head of association of co-proprietors of condominiums, informed about the positive experience of  introducing  the thermal modernization co-financing programs for “30% to 70%.” She said Kyiv State City Administration and residents of a condominium joined their financial efforts to reconstruct the boiler room, and to provide 2 walls with heat insulation. Kyiv City Administration allocated half a million, the residents spent 250 thousand UAH, informed  the head of association of co-proprietors of condominiums. According to her, due to significant effect most residents are interested in continuing heat insulation of their house. “I cannot decrease (below the current level – Ed. UCMC) the temperature in the house, because not the whole house has been insulated. But the temperature in the apartments with the insulated end walls is 2-3 degrees higher than in other apartments,” said Olena Sentezevska.

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